Senses unite in artisanal bent at this year’s IBIE expo

By Kristine Sherred

- Last updated on GMT

A rendering of the Artisan Marketplace.
A rendering of the Artisan Marketplace.

Related tags IBIE Baking industry artisanal breads craft bread Baking Bakers Pillsbury company Pizza Virtual reality Technology

The massive show will bring thousands of baking industry and supply chain professionals to Las Vegas, September 8-11. Here’s a taste of what to expect from the show’s focus on craft and getting back to baking’s roots.

Show me your best cake

The show floor will once again feature a professional cake decorating competition in the redesigned RBA Bakers Center (from Bundy Baking Solutions).

Applicants – who must have worked at least part-time in a bakery setting for two or more years – had until May 1 to submit their portfolio. Six finalist teams will compete in four categories during the onsite showdown: wedding cake, rolled fondant, sculpted and one surprise, which will be announced just before the bakers begin.

Contestants hail from five US states, plus one from Ontario, Canada.

The winning team will take home the Grand Champion trophy. The judging panel will also award gold, silver and bronze medals, plus cash prizes, to teams with the highest three scores in each category.

“Cake decorating is truly an art form worthy of recognition, appreciation and celebration,”​ said Lynn Schurman, education director of the Retail Bakers of America (RBA). 

There is no better place to experience the artistry and passion of cake decorating than at IBIE – the international stage where the entire industry gathers. During this prominent contest, teams will compete for the coveted Pillsbury Bakers’ Plus Grand Champion Trophy and the admiration of the industry - ​Lynn Schurman, Retail Bakers of America

Angela May from the UK’s Planet Food will host the event in its 18th​ year. May also hosts the Bocuse d’Or and Coupe du Monde de la Patisserie culinary competitions in Lyon, France.

Pizza anyone?

The annual Baking Expo is more than cakes and breads.

Experts will be on hand to discuss the foundation of pizza-making and the nitty-gritty details at the Pizza Industry Information Center. Companies seeking to improve their product offerings – or add pizza to their portfolio – will benefit from the chance to explore data of the $44bn industry, as well as ingredient trends, recipes, food costs and growth rates.

The Bread Bakers Guild of America will also talk pizza at the Artisan Marketplace during two presentations: one with Billa Manzo of Federal Hill Pizza, a brick-oven pizza joint in Providence, Rhode Island; and the other with Leslie Mackie of Macrina Bakery, a full-service bakery with five locations around Seattle, Washington.

Virtual reality brings bakeries to you

This year’s show brings a tech-forward element to the fold for the first time in the US. IBIE debuted the concept at last year’s expo in Munich, Germany.

The iba.Virtual Bakery Tours offer guests the chance to see some of the world’s most famous bakeries through the comfort of a VR headset​.

Featured shops include contemporary favorites like San Francisco’s Tartine Bakery and Vienna’s Joseph Brot. They will join long-established counterparts: Baier Bakery in Stuttgart-Herrenberg, Germany, open since 1835; Hinkel Bakery in Dusseldorf, founded in 1891; and Sandholt Bakery, a fourth-generation family in Reykjavik, Iceland. Athens’ Apollonion Bakery, which opened its doors in 1965, will also show off its ‘live front baking’ approach to the consumer experience.

“Virtual reality creates a completely immersive experience for IBIE attendees, allowing them to explore top bakeries on a national and international level, without having to board a plane,” ​said Fred Springer, who heads up the show’s technology board.

Bakery tours have traditionally been highly requested, but understandably, are logistically hard to execute at an event of IBIE’s scale. Thanks to our partnership with iba, this virtual tour allows us to fulfill these requests in an engaging, and interactive way, and with a robust lineup of renowned bakeries and an additional content focused on the industrial sector, this offering will elevate the IBIE experience for all attendees - ​Fred Springer, IBIE tech lead

The best in baking

Since 2010, the show has recognized industry players for sustainability initiatives in their supply chain – from sanitation to the importance of workforce development​ and product innovation.

This year’s awards recognize more than 40 bakers and suppliers in nine categories, segmenting ingredient suppliers from equipment makers, packaging from logistics. The product innovation categories honor a company in high-volume sales, wholesale and retail.

“The companies recognized as 2019’s BEST in Baking qualifiers are leaders in category excellence,”​ said IBIE chair Joe Turano. “They are shining examples of what we can achieve as an industry and we are honored to highlight their work and achievements.”

Taste, see, smell… learn

The Artisan Marketplace will anchor the show’s experiential mindset, with Puratos and the Bread Bakers Guild of America curating a roster of industry experts to show off their brightest ideas.

Visitors can access the Marketplace throughout the expo, taking in dozens of demos focused on this year’s artisanal, back-to-basics approach to baking – whether through sourdough, sprouted grains, or other ingredients and techniques.

The Marketplace’s speaker series will bring several revered bakers to share their insight and expertise, including:

  • Stanley Ginsberg, owner of The New York Bakers and author of The Rye Baker and Inside the Jewish Bakery
  • Leslie Mackie, owner of Macrina Bakery and baking author
  • Craig Ponsford of the Artisan Baking Center and award-winning bread maker
  • Ciril Hitz of the Baking and Pastry Institute at Johnson & Wales University
  • Martin Philip, head baker of King Arthur Flour and baking educator

“IBIE is committed to showcasing industry trends such as the artisan baking movement by developing show features that provide attendees an innovative, hands-on experience,”​ said IBIE's Turano. “We’re particularly excited for these new Artisan Marketplaces because the learning opportunities will enhance attendees’ experience and leave bakers inspired and poised for success.”

In conjunction with the show’s educational programming, the Marketplace rounds out the 2019 focus on building, delivering and scaling up artisanal bakeries.

Link here to hear more from Andy Brimacombe, president of Puratos USA,​ on the importance of this new feature and what it means for the baking industry in an exclusive BakeryandSnacks Chat Podcast.

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